Sector News

Chinese drugmakers snag antibody expert Ambrx in joint buyout

May 22, 2015
Life sciences
A group of Chinese biotech heavyweights are banding together to buy Ambrx, R&D partner to the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, in hopes of making the company a go-to collaborator in their native country.
 
Under the deal, drugmaker Fosun Pharma, CRO WuXi PharmaTech and investors China Everbright and HOPU Investments have joined forces to acquire Ambrx, which is headquartered in San Diego. The consortium isn’t disclosing a price tag, saying only that it plans to close the deal next quarter.
 
Ambrx has made its name crafting so-called antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), in which researchers pair toxic chemicals with targeted antibodies to treatments that can home in on tumors while sparing surrounding tissues. Beyond its stable of R&D partners, the biotech has a proprietary pipeline of ADC treatments led by ARX788, a breast cancer treatment slated to enter the clinic this year.
 
Ambrx’s collaborators–a group that also includes Astellas, Eli Lilly and Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical–have paid the biotech more than $200 million in upfront cash and milestone payments, and the company’s soon-to-be owners believe they can raise its profile in China’s growing market for biotech R&D.
 
“Upon completion of the acquisition, Ambrx will obtain quality resources from its Chinese partners, so as to further advance the technical innovation of their research center based in the U.S., and to establish a global product development center based in China,” China Everbright CEO Chen Shuang said in a statement.
 
Ambrx, a 2005 Fierce 15 honoree, swung for an $86 million IPO amid 2014’s deluge of Wall Street debuts but later scuttled those plans and had largely remained quiet ever since.
 
By Damian Garde
 

Join the discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related News

November 27, 2020

AbbVie lifts insider Jeffrey Stewart to commercial chief as company veteran Carlos Alban retires

Life sciences

AbbVie will soon have a new chief commercial officer, who’ll assume the heavy responsibility of navigating the Illinois pharma’s marketing transition from megablockbuster Humira.

November 27, 2020

Belgium biotech argenx nabs Bayer speedy review voucher for a cool $98M

Life sciences

The biotech, which has a series of deals across Big Pharma, will use the voucher, which can speed up the regulatory process for a new drug, for its late-stage drug efgartigimod—but not in the indication you might think.

November 27, 2020

Galapagos sells off Fidelta as CRO activities ‘no longer fit with its strategy’

Life sciences

Galapagos is selling off its contract research organization Fidelta for $37 million to Polish life science company Selvita. Fidelta focuses on inflammation, fibrosis and anti-infectives, with 181 employees at the helm.

Send this to a friend